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Sleep apnea is a dangerous condition that occurs when your breathing is interrupted while you sleep. These stoppages in breathing can occur hundreds of times a night without you even realizing. However, due to the loud snoring that often accompanies this condition, your bed partner will most likely be aware of your breathing stoppages. In order to resume normal breathing, your brain must temporarily rouse you from sleep. As a result, you may often feel tired throughout the day.

There are two main types of sleep apnea – obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. Each has a slightly different cause. Calgary dentist Dr. Steven Cload will design your treatment plan to address the specific causes associated with your condition.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common form of the condition, It occurs when the soft tissue in the back of your throat collapses and blocks your airway. This blockage prevents you from breathing and deprives your brain and heart of needed oxygen. This can result in an increase in blood pressure and heart rate ,which can place you at a greater risk of heart attack and stroke.

Treatment for obstructive sleep apnea works to open your airway so that you can breathe continuously while you sleep. Oral appliance therapy and CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) are two of the most common treatments used.

Central Sleep Apnea

While less common, central sleep apnea is equally dangerous. It occurs when your brain fails to send the proper signals to the muscles that regulate your breathing. There is no blockage of your airway, just a breakdown in the function of your respiratory center. Patients with central sleep apnea may experience pauses in breathing for as long as two minutes at a time. As a result, your brain and heart become severely oxygen deprived, placing you at greater risk for serious health complications.

Please contact our dental team today to schedule your initial sleep apnea evaluation. Southcentre Dental Clinic serves patients in Calgary, Alberta.

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